In response to increased pollution in the coastal zone and ocean gyres, the Surfrider Foundation created the Ocean Friendly Restaurant program, aiming to educate and promote restaurants that are making a difference in protecting our ocean, waves, and beaches.

The goals of the program are to help reduce plastic waste, eliminate the use of expanded polystyrene foam, and encourage more sustainable and environmentally friendly practices at restaurants, cafes, bars, food trucks, and more!

Plastic pollution is suffocating our ocean and the many animals that call it home. Researchers estimate there are now over 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic in the ocean with the number continuing to grow every day. This pollution is impacting our marine ecosystems, wildlife such as seabirds, dolphins, fish, and turtles, and plastic fragments are even displacing plankton at the base of the food chain.

So what’s the best way to combat this global epidemic facing our ocean? It’s simple: we need to stop the problem at its source! Our Ocean Friendly Restaurants program does just that. One restaurant, one customer at a time, increases awareness, drives change in behavior and ultimately creates scalable impact to reduce our plastic (and water!) footprint.